East Londonderry DUP Gregory Campbell has reignited tensions with Sinn Fein over the Irish language by describing a community festival in his city as the ‘Gasyard Failure’.
Mr Campbell caused controversy in 2014 by using the phrase ‘Curry my yoghurt’ in imitation of an Irish greeting used by some MLAs.
At the last Assembly election DUP leader Arlene Foster described Sinn Fein as “crocodiles” regarding their pressure for an Irish language act, the legislation remaining a stalling point in Stormont talks.
On his Facebook site, Mr Campbell appeared to ridicule the Gasyard Féile which begins next week in Londonderry and features a gallery of photographs of Martin McGuinness and a talk by former MP George Galloway.
“The Gasyard failure should be a real bundle of laughs this year,” Mr Campbell said.
“First Marty’s photos (don’t know if there will be the obligatory warning at start in case those of a nervous disposition are viewing) then the serial election loser George (the cat) Galloway. Roll up, roll up get your tickets please!”
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said that Mr Campbell’s remarks were “crass, offensive and completely lacking in respect”.
He added: “These comments are another example of the DUP’s Gregory Campbell’s total and utter disrespect for the Irish language with his offensive comments about the Gasyard Féile.
“The Gasyard Féile is a hugely successful and inclusive community festival, now in its 25th year, which promotes community health and wellbeing, international awareness and human rights and enables dialogue and discussion.
“Sadly, this is not the first time Gregory Campbell has insulted the Irish language community.”